ADL TROUBLED BY KATHIE LEE GIFFORD'S REMARKS ABOUT JEWS
New York, NY, November 22, 1995...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it
was troubled by comments made by TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford regarding
her Jewish producer, noting that the League has communicated with her in
the past about her questionable comments regarding Jews.
In the most recent incident, Ms. Gifford, when taking about how she was
more in touch with Middle America than the executive producer of her TV
show, Michael Gelman, told Charles Grodin on his CNBC show that, "He's
a male, Jewish, single guy, living in New York City. Nothing wrong with
that, God bless him, like [Jerry} Seinfeld."
"One wonders why Kathie Lee Gifford needed to identify the religion
of her producer," said ADL National Director, Abraham H. Foxman. This
gratuitous comment, coming after her nationally televised remarks about
Jesus' crucifixion, raises disturbing questions. Surely, Ms. Gifford must
understand the power of the medium of television and the dangers inherent
in her statements."
On Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, on August 31, during a discussion on
the new Oxford University Press publication, The New Testament and Psalms:
An Inclusive Version, Ms. Lee expressed displeasure about the fact that
"They're changing who crucified Jesus." Mr. Foxman wrote to Ms.
Lee reminding her that "the charge that Jews are responsible for the
crucifixion of Jesus had been used countless times over many centuries to
justify anti-Jewish persecution and violence. This charge has been rescinded
by most mainstream Christian churches."
Mr. Foxman urged Ms. Gifford to acknowledge that her comments were problematic
and to commit herself to show great sensitivity in the future.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.